Air Carrier Access Act for Web

The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA, Title 49, Section 41705 of the U.S. Code) was enacted in 1986 to protect passengers on U.S. and foreign airlines against discrimination due to physical or mental disabilities. On November 12, 2013, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a final rule that amends the ACAA to require air carriers to make their websites and kiosks accessible to individuals with disabilities.

ACAA is applicable to

ACAA is applicable to the U.S. and foreign air carriers that operate at least one aircraft having a seating capacity of more than 60 passengers to ensure their primary Web sites are accessible. Ticket agents that are not small businesses are also affected and must disclose and offer web-based fared to passengers who are unable to use an agent’s inaccessible website.

What are ACAA requirements?

ACAA requires providing the core functionalities of the public facing websites of the effected airlines accessible by December 12, 2015. The core functionalities include Reservation, Check-in, Flight status & schedule, frequent flyer accounts, contact information. ACAA also requires making the remaining pages of the website accessible by December 12, 2016. Additionally, ticket agents that are not small businesses must disclose and offer Web-based fares on or after June 10, 2014, to passengers who indicate that they are unable to use the agents’ Websites due to a disability.

Web Accessibility standards to be followed

ACAA requires the effected websites to follow the widely accepted web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) 2.0(External website) Level A and Level AA.

Points to remember

  1. Deadline for incorporating accessibility for core functionalities is December 12, 2015.
  2. Deadline for incorporating accessibility into remaining all pages is December 12, 2016.
  3. Standards to be followed are WCAG 2.0(External website) Level A & AA.